Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 2, 2020 3:57:01 pm
Hitting out at the Centre for extending the detention of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) by three months, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Sunday demanded her immediate release.
“India’s democracy is damaged when GOI (Government of India) illegally detains political leaders. It’s high time Mehbooba Mufti is released,” Gandhi tweeted.
India’s democracy is damaged when GOI illegally detains political leaders.
It’s high time Mehbooba Mufti is released.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 2, 2020
On Friday, the J&K administration extended the detention of Mufti by three months for the second time under the PSA. Mufti’s detention was scheduled to expire on August 5. She is the only mainstream political leader still detained under the PSA.
The 61-year-old was arrested on August 5 last year, the day the Central government abrogated the special status of J&K and downgraded the state into two Union Territories. While Mufti was lodged under preventive detention for six months, she was booked under PSA in February this year along with former Chief Minister and political rival Omar Abdullah.
While Abdullah was released March 24, Mufti continued to serve detention. On April 7, she was shifted to her official residence that was declared as a subsidiary jail by the government.
In its first PSA dossier against Mufti, the administration had referred to the green colour of her party flag, the resemblance of her party’s election symbol with that of Muslim United Front (MUF) – a conglomerate of Valley parties that contested elections in 1987 – and her refusal to sign a bond that she would not talk about the scrapping of Article 370 as the reasons for slapping PSA against her.
Former finance minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram Saturday had called Mufti’s detention an “abuse of law” and “assault” on the constitutional rights of every citizen of the country.
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